Few days before my departure to Malaysia, someone sent me a message by informing that there was a foundation looking for travelers who blogs, writes, take photos and videos as well as those who are active on their social media would like to join the sponsored 2 days 1 night trip in Raub, Malaysia. The destination was less than 2 hours from Kuala Lumpur and the good news was local transportation, accommodation, and meals would be sponsored for those who would support the program. WELL WHO’S GONNA SKIP THIS OPPORTUNITY? NOT ME OF COURSE! Once I got the message I knew this program based on eco-tourism advocacy. I signed up and I participated in the program since we got the slot to be selected as international travel bloggers together with other 4 people from the Philippines, Russia, and Germany.
I was super excited to support this super cool program which so-called “Discovery Raub 2018 Advocacy Campaign in partnership with BeTourist Malaysia”. As a person who loves traveling while bringing value in every single trip, this golden opportunity caught my attention to the fullest. The foundation which supported my trip is named H.O.P.E. Foundation which was founded in 2014 under the objective of raising awareness for sustainable development of the tourism industry and supporting the local communities in Malaysia with the main focus on Heritage, Origin, Preservation, Education.
This foundation is awesome for me in order to attract youngsters to be more sensitive in the tourism issue. So #DiscoverRaub2018 is part of H.O.P.E commitment to support Purposeful Sensory Journey with the mission of transforming every tourists into a global responsible traveler through strategic partnerships and collaborations with other stakeholders like #BeTouristMY, a licensed local tour operator known for pioneering the Malaysia Heritage Tours, promoting the richness of local culture and supporting community-based tourism.
So together with other four international travelers and content creators, I joined this program in raising awareness which held on March 22-23, 2018. This program aimed to advocate the awareness among different stakeholders about the importance of sustainable quality tourism practices by bringing in international travelers and storytellers to Discover Raub in order to create a learning experience between the hosts and tourists while highlighting the rich heritage of how this old town evolve from their traditional trade of gold mining to a flourishing agriculture and eco-tourism destination in Malaysia. So the mission is clear to transform every tourist into a global responsible traveler. This is also part of their support to the call of the United Nations World Tourism Organization for support in advocating for Sustainable Tourism as key to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
I really enjoyed the 2 days 1 night sponsored tour filled with nature, adventure, culture and interaction with the local communities in Raub. So now I’ll share my incredible stories with all my readers how amazing my journey was. On the first day in Raub, we went to the Tofu factory. This factory is a family business namely “Kilang Tauhu Chai Bukit Koman”. We saw the process of making tofu from the beginning to the end.
You know, before we arrived in Bukit Koman, we passed Bentong which is famous for ginger in the entire Pahang. On the way from Kuala Lumpur to Raub, we saw many bikers along the way since on the same day, there was “Le Tour Langkawi” which was the tour of bicycles started from Langkawi and this event annually happens once a year. During our trip to Raub, we passed plenty of durians and jackfruits as well as palm oil plantation. Even many locals sell those fruits (re Durians and jackfruits exclude palm oil) on the road freshly.
For your information, the most expensive and tastiest famous durian is here in Pahang. Yes, Musang King Durian. Only can grow up in Pahang so many investors invest their money in Musang King Durian plantation since the price is so crazy and it’s really good business for sure. One thing you should know about Raub that really interesting is a long time ago, Raub was the oldest gold mining spot aside Ipoh. Then when we talk about gold here, the majority is Chinese people live here even until now. But everything has changed. Gold can be exploited so does job. Once gold is becoming less and less local people cannot get back to work for gold mining so they shifted to do agricultural or even family’s business at home.
Our next stop is to visit a family’s business of traditional bread which in local Malay language you say “Kue”. The name of this family’s business is “Haka Kue” There are 15 recipes of all Kue’s that you will never find in another place except in Raub. The story behind the creation of those Kue’s is showing respect to the buffalo and elephant because those animals are very important since they are working hard with the farmers. In order to show respect to them, on every first day of October in the Lunar month Chinese people take it as a buffalo’s day by serving the good foods for the buffalo to eat.
So the Kue’s actually are the foods of the animal to show the respect of their hard-working a long time ago. That’s the value behind the creation of those Kues. But nowadays with all of the modernization, people are no longer eating traditional foods. Besides, it’s very costly and also because of the manpower. Let’s say people would like to eat this traditional Kue, either they will come down along the way to Raub to buy or prefer to choose random loaves of bread in the supermarket which is the taste is different. But the main problem is who’s going to make it. Based on the history timeline nobody cares about it now. That’s why this business is still happening to make people aware that there is always value behind the creation of Kue’s process. Wanna see when I took a shot to make one Kue by myself? Check out this video.
Leaving the Kue’s place, we were landing in the oldest famous whiskey shop in town. This shop is also a family business. Here we could see many kinds of local whiskey that used to be produced in that shop but due to some circumstances, the factory is no longer there but moved to Langkawi instead so the owner of the shop needs to buy from Langkawi and reselling it in town. The unique fact about this shop is because of the modernization, this shop is surely facing the vibe of competition among other shops surrounding so to survive, this shop is being forced to sell other things which are the basic daily needs of people in town to keep the shop existed.
The next stop was Kampong Baru Tras where the local Temple is located. In this Temple, we saw the original Chinese Buddhism practice which is very different because it is the real culture of Buddhism. On the same day, this Temple was celebrating one super cool eating durian competition as well. You’re not gonna believe me since they were eating the most expensive durian ever in entire Malaysia which is “Musang King Durian”.
Have you ever heard about it? Oh man! Let me tell you about this. Musang King is a very special species in the durian kingdom. Why is that so? The texture is different. The taste is so amazing. I’m not trying to be bias just because I’m the biggest fan of durian but as I’ve been eating many durians in many different places so I can compare them all. And my best shot goes to Musang King Durian. How about the price? You’re not gonna believe me about this. But I’ll still tell you how much it does cost. It’s about RM200-RM300 per kg. I’m not kidding about this. And you know what, many foreigners come just because they want to taste the most expensive Musang King Durian. Wow! It’s crazy, isn’t it? Well if you wanna taste something perfect you gotta pay much for it and trust me it’s worth it.
Anyway, let’s get back to eating durian competition. Besides watching the competition, the Temple also presented culinary and souvenirs bazaar. Even photography display as well for sale. The best part is the performance of traditional music by young fellas and guess, we also learned how to play them. What an experience! One thing that amazed me is the usage of the Temple is very awesome. People are gathered and sharing happiness plus being a place for education at the same time. No boundaries among society. In the Temple itself, we had a chance to see and understand the function of each God during praying. From justice, healthy, wealthy and even asking help for business, this Temple has a place for it. This Temple is not only about religion which specifically into faith. Culture is also part of this Temple where people are praying and doing charity to keep the Temple stands strong and can give benefit to society.
We continued our journey to explore the cave which namely “Gua Kechil”. This cave is far from the tourist that’s why natural beauty is still there. The cave is so authentic and purely never been touched by modernization. So that’s why this cave is so good for meditation or at least to keep your own silence by staying away from the busy city. The cave is an unprotected cave which means nobody is actually taking care of this cave and it was no under any conservation.
So once upon a time, this cave was lived by the members of the communist party after World War 2 which is during the civil war. So this cave is being functioned as a place to hide. Over the years after the communist party members are gone, people just abandoned this cave and the government just didn’t care about this cave. Inside the cave itself we can see the painting created by random people who come and go so there’s no preservation at all.
We explore the cave to see what we can do to make the cave becomes the tourist spot so the government will be aware of it and at least give some attention to the cave because a lot of work to do for sure in order to promote this natural spot. Actually, there are two local communities who’re sometimes coming to see and check the cave just in case somebody tries to do bad things to the cave. But it’s not sustainable because they’re not being hired or being authorized to do that because it’s just the matter of volunteering value which means temporary activity based on their own initiative. Inside of the cave is so real without any touch before because of the crystals in some spots inside.
To end our exploration on the first day, we again went to see the process of making noodles before having dinner together. This place also family’s business which became the most delicious and famous noodle in town. So happy I got the experience to learn how to make a noodle and finally eat noodles which fresh from the oven. Here are some pictures:
Second day yay! 4×4 drive and picnic at the waterfall. This trip was so incredible since we really used a special car to cross the forest because the road was so wild. Actually, the car is used by the durian’s farmer to take durian from the hill. That’s why they needed to modify the car because the Jeep cannot do more. I’ve experienced this kind of wild trip to Indonesia which is in Banyuwangi, the Eastern part of Java Island. Once I went to the island where the foreigners surf, we took Jeep to get there but my current trip to Raub was really different as I can compare both of my wild explorations beacause Raub trip was so unique and I felt like I was so close to nature and we visited the hidden paradise which is still pure and far away from the city life. What an adventure!
Before heading back to Kuala Lumpur after we finished our trip, we again tried local Chinese foods in particular kinds of seafood, and you know I’ve tried the unique local drink for breakfast is called “Champ”. It’s a combination of coffee and tea. Can you imagine the strong local coffee mixed with local Chinese tea? It was so good!
So how? Curious about Raub? Go to Malaysia drive to Pahang and find Raub! What are you waiting for? Let’s go for some cultural exploration!
#H_O_P_E_DiscoverRaub #BeTouristMY #MalaysiaHeritage